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It’s a seller’s market: COVID’s effect on real estate in Middle Tennessee

Experts say there are multiple reasons people are buying right now

NewsChannel 5, by Ben Hill, 4/8/21

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Let’s face it. Unless you have an unlimited budget, finding a home in Middle Tennessee is hard right now.

Call it the COVID effect, as many in the industry have. Whether it’s simply spending more time at home, realizing what you have isn’t right, wanting to relocate, or taking advantage of low interest rates — it’s led to less inventory.

That means it’s a seller’s market, which makes it tough on buyers. Experts say it is especially hitting two groups especially hard: first-time homebuyers and those who need a contingency included in their deal.

Industry experts say, while there’s been an appreciation in housing prices and the cost of living, Nashville is still a better fit for many people who are moving to Tennessee from major markets across the country.

That means more competition with potential “all cash” offers and lower expectations if you’re moving into town.

“I think you have to be more flexible when it comes to things like, ‘Am I willing to do some minor renovation? Am I willing to do some things to make a place more mine?” said Jeff Checko, the Relocation Director for RE/MAX. “That’s how you can get something now, and then really, I think it’s important for people to look at the scope of time a little differently. Are you willing to allow this market to gain some more traction as it relates to inventory as the Spring approaches? Are you willing to hope that interest rates stay where they are, which is really attractive right now?”

According to Greater Nashville Realtors, there were 2,919 closings in February of 2021. The average home spent 28 days on the market that month.

“Middle Tennessee is sitting at 1.2 months of inventory,” said Andrew Terrell, the Managing Broker at Pilkerton Realtors. “That’s been a decrease of over about the last year to get to that 1.2 months of inventory. That is a 60-percent decrease in homes available than this time last year.”

Other good tips offered up by the experts are:

  • Get good representation
  • Be in a strong financial position with a pre-approval letter
  • Have your offer ready to roll
  • Be patient

As for sellers, experts say it’s important to price appropriately. While it’s a strong seller’s market, be realistic.

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